Alamein Barracks celebrates 60 years


lord-derby-signals-123By Maj Bob Dobson, PSAO, Alamein Barracks

This October Army Reserve Centre Alamein Barracks in Huyton on Merseyside, home to 33 Sig Sqn, celebrated its 60th anniversary with a rededication ceremony attended by Lord Derby.

The history of Alamein Barracks began in 1956 when land was leased from the local council to build a new barracks to house the Royal Tank Regiment. The building was opened by Col The Rt Hon The Earl of Derby. The tank regiment was in situ until 1967 when the Territorial Army (TA) was reorganised and 33rd Signal Regiment (Volunteers) was formed on 1 April.

33 Signal Regiment can trace its history back to 1880 with the formation of the 1st Lancashire Volunteer Battalion Royal Engineers, later to convert into Western Signal Companies Royal Engineers providing contingents on deployment in the early stages of the First World War. Later reformed as 55 West Lancashire Divisional Signals, elements of the unit were seconded to General Montgomery’s command during the Second World War and took part in the battle of El Alamein, the advance to Tunis and the invasion of Sicily before coming to a halt in Austria. Items of silver from those regiments are still on display in the barracks.

lord-derby-signals-058On 1 April 1980 the regiment was granted the honorary freedom of the borough of Knowsley, included the privilege of entering the borough with flags flying, drums beating and bayonets fixed.

33 Signal Regiment was disbanded during restructuring in 2009. By 2010, new unit 33 Signal Squadron was formed phoenix-like from elements of 42, 59, and 80 Signal Squdrons and 93 Signal Squadron in Blackburn. An element, 842 Signal Troop, was also retained at Norman Road in Manchester where they now share with 6 Military Intelligence Battalion.

Evidence of the unit’s enduring history remain on display at Alamein Barracks, including silver harkin back to the 1st Lancashire Volunteer Battalion, various uniforms worn over the years and some of the equipment used.

The Army Reserve is not only about providing support to the Regular Army and operational requirements; it is about friendship and family. This camaraderie is maintained by the Royal Signals Association which includes members covering most of the recent history of both 33 Signal Regiment and 33 Signal Squadron.

To mark the rededication of the barracks, Lord Derby was invited to unveil a plaque.


Reserve Forces